WARNING: This article contains spoilers for all the Netflix Marvel Cinematic Universe series.
Netflix dropped the trailer for The Defenders miniseries this.
The series brings together characters from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. All eight episodes will premiere on August 18, 2017.
This trailer, set to a remix of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are“, also brought up way more questions than it answers. So, let’s break down what they are.
1. What crime did Jessica Jones interfere in?
Something brought Jessica Jones up to Harlem. Something that brought her into conflict with Misty Knight, the detective who first appeared in Luke Cage’s series.
2. Who called Matt Murdock?
As Jones and Knight fight in an interrogation room. Matt Murdock, who is secretly the vigilante Daredevil, bursts in to inform Jones he is her new lawyer. Given her confusion and Harlem not being where he normally practices, who called Murdock?
3. How did Luke Cage get out of prison?
When we last saw Luke Cage, the bulletproof superhero and fugitive, he voluntarily returned to prison. The Defenders trailer indicates he has been released and returns to Harlem a free man. But how?
4. How did Danny Rand get back from K’un-Lun?
Like Luke Cage’s series, Iron Fist ended with the hero removed from his element. Danny Rand, the immortal warrior Iron Fist, had returned to K’un-Lun, the city he trained in. Joined by fellow martial artist Coleen Wing, the two discovered that the mystical city of had disappeared. Will we find out the fate of K’un-Lun?
5. Does the Iron Fist hurt Luke Cage?
When Cage and Rand meet and fight, Cage can repel almost all the warrior-monk’s attacks. But when Rand summons the power of the Iron Fist, we see Cage knocked back violently. This mirrors a shot from Cage’s series where a criminal broke his hand against the bulletproof hero. Does this mean the power of the Fist is equivalent to that of a Judas Bullet?
6. How did Claire get involved?
Rand and Cage’s fight takes place at night in an alley. Then we cut to Coleen Wing’s dojo in the daylight. The two are butting heads as Claire Temple, the nurse who’s been a thread between these different series, is mediating between them. But what happened in between?
7. Where are the side characters?
Each of the four series leading up to The Defenders had memorable side characters. Few of these appeared in the trailer. They are almost all listed as having guest roles in the series though.
In Daredevil, Franklin “Foggy” Nelson and Karen Page were both part of Matt Murdock’s legal practice. Nelson quit their practice at the end of Daredevil season two, but Page was last seen when Murdock revealed he was the devil of Hell’s Kitchen to her.
Trish Walker, Jessica Jones’ adoptive sister, is a radio host. She was a major character in Jones’ series and even made an appearance by voice in Luke Cage. Malcolm Ducasse was an ally and neighbor of Jones’ who also appeared in her series.
Jerri Hogarth, hotshot lawyer who represented both Jones and Danny Rand, also was mysteriously absent. Rand’s business partner Ward Meachum does not appear to be listed as a guest, despite running the Rand Corporation that Danny owns.
8. How much fallout from the individual series?
Each series ended with loose threads for follow-up seasons. In this trailer, some of these are clearly coming up. Jones is still struggling with alcoholism. Cage struggles to be free and also a hero. Murdock’s deceased lover Elektra Natchios is brought back after her death in season two. She also appears to be sided against him and knocks him through glass. The Hand, the ninja clan that Stick, Daredevil, and Iron Fist all fight, brought her back, so it shouldn’t be too surprising if she’s evil.
9. What will the new excuse be?
There is little lip service given between the different series in the MCU. But seriously, how can a major event go down in New York City without any of the other Marvel heroes showing up? I’m not saying all the Avengers or S.H.I.E.L.D. need to show up. What about Tony Stark though, who lives in a tower on the same island? Or Spider-Man, whose movie will be premiering the month before? We should have some logical reason why he won’t show up when a super powered brawl is happening one bridge toll away.
10. What can Alexandra do?
About half way through The Defenders trailer we are given a nameless introduction to Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra. Presumably, she’s a leader of some faction of the Hand. We haven’t been given a very clear indicator of what her power is. At one point, we are shown a concussive, invisible blast that knocks the four main heroes down but leaves Stick standing. Is she an Inhuman? Or perhaps are we delving back into the Mystic Arts side of the MCU?
Alexandra is later shown talk with the collected hero group. “The more connections you have, the easier it will be to break you,” she says. Chilling, when she doesn’t look at all concerned surrounded by such a powerful force.
11. Did they just become best friends?
It’s not all doom and gloom. There is a distinct charm seeing these characters working together.
“You look like an idiot,” Jones tells Murdock when he joins her for a fight while out of uniform.
“It’s your scarf,” he reminds her. He wears it over the top of his head, mirroring the black bandanna he wore throughout Daredevil season one.
These kind of little moments of levity pepper the trailer and show the growing relationships between these singular heroes.
12. What’s with these folks and hallways?
Ever since the much lauded hallway fight in Daredevil season one, each series has done some form of the same idea. This time it looks a little tougher, with the characters working both with and around each other.
“The war for New York is here,” Stick says. “so get your shit together.”
Will these heroes be enough? We’ll find out when The Defenders releases on August 18.